Cover image for American families : a multicultural reader
American families : a multicultural reader
Coontz, Stephanie.
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxxiii, 501 pages ; 26 cm
The American tradition of family diversity -- Integrating race, class, and gender into family theory -- Working-class and inner-city families under economic stress -- Globalization and today's immigrant families -- Work-family issues -- New forms of family diversity -- Recognizing diversity, encouraging solidarity.

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HQ535 .A583 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This collection testifies to the extraordinary variety of families in the United States, revealing that family arrangements have always been diverse and have often been in flux. Case studies describe the wide array of family forms and values, gender roles, and parenting practices that have prevailed in different times and places for different population groups. Paying special attention to the intersections and cross-currents of class, race, and ethnicity, as well as their differential impact on gender, sexuality, and personal identity, the contributors highlight the socioeconomic and cultural forces that affect the organization and internal dynamics of family life. These articles provide a variety of perspectives that nonetheless point to a common theme: the myth of family homogeneity has not merely excluded some groups; it has deformed our understanding of all families. Social policies and psychological practice must take account of the complexity, contradictions, conflicts, and accommodationsthat shape people's individual and group experience of family life. Drawing on historical, sociological, anthropological, and psychological research, American Families provides an overview of the theoretical and conceptual issues involved in studying the variations and interactions among different, constantly changing, families. It also considers the social, political, and practical implications of viewing family life through the lens of multiculturalism.

Author Notes

Stephanie Coontzis Professor of Family History at the Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington. She is author of The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms withAmerica's Changing Families(1997) and The Way We NeverWere: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap(1992).

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This book, which arose from the demands of Coontz's family history course at Evergreen State College, continues the project Coontz ably began in four previous monographs (most recently, The Way We Really Are, LJ 4/1/97). The 29 chapters have been multifariously culled, many excerpted from books, with the aim of showing varieties of family life when factors of race, class, gender, locale, and different historical periods are considered independently. There are, for instance, chapters about African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Filipinas, Vietnamese, Chinese, immigrants, lesbians, motherhood, the poor, teenage mothers, and class consciousness in various times and places. There are no articles about middle- or upper-class families or those of northern European origin. Some of the authors are well known (e.g., W.J. Wilson, Thomas J. Sugrue), while others are newcomers. With nothing quite like it in its breadth of treatment, this is an excellent resource for college students or the engaged reader looking for a scholarly introduction.¬ĎJanice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Stephanie CoontzBonnie Thornton DillDavid Wallace AdamsNiara SudarkasaEvelyn Nakano GlennStephanie CoontzGeorge J. SanchezJacqueline JonesRayna RappPatricia Hill CollinsKaren Brodkin SacksMaxine Baca ZinnThomas J. SugrueGabrielle RaleyLillian B. RubinPierrette Hondagneu-SoteloGrace ChangNazli KibriaSarah RyanPierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Michael A. MessnerTamara Anderson and Beth VailJudith StaceyBeverly Greene and Nancy Boyd-FranklinMichelle HarrisonBarbara Katz RothmanMaria P. P. RootMargaret Crosbie-Burnett and Edith A. LewisRoger Lawson and William Julius WilsonStephen SteinbergJudith StaceyMaya Parson
Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Introductionp. ix
Part I. The American Tradition of Family Diversity
1. Fictive Kin, Paper Sons, and Compadrazgo: Women of Color and the Struggle for Family Survivalp. 2
2. Excerpts from Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928p. 20
3. Interpreting the African Heritage in Afro-American Family Organizationp. 59
4. Split Household, Small Producer, and Dual Wage Earner: An Analysis of Chinese-American Family Strategiesp. 74
5. Working-Class Families, 1870-1890p. 94
6. Excerpts from Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945p. 128
7. Southern Diaspora: Origins of the Northern "Underclass"p. 153
Part II. Integrating Race, Class, and Gender into Family Theory
8. Family and Class in Contemporary America: Notes toward an Understanding of Ideologyp. 180
9. Shifting the Center: Race, Class, and Feminist Theorizing about Motherhoodp. 197
10. Toward a Unified Theory of Class, Race, and Genderp. 218
11. Social Science Theorizing for Latino Families in the Age of Diversityp. 230
Part III. Working-Class and Inner-City Families under Economic Stress
12. Poor Families in an Era of Urban Transformation: The "Underclass" Family in Myth and Realityp. 243
13. No Good Choices: Teenage Childbearing, Concentrated Poverty, and Welfare Reformp. 258
14. Excerpts from Families on the Fault Line: America's Working Class Speaks about the Family, the Economy, Race, and Ethnicityp. 273
Part IV. Globalization and Today's Immigrant Families
15. Women and Children First: New Directions in Anti-immigrant Politicsp. 288
16. Global Exchange: The World Bank, "Welfare Reform," and the Global Trade in Filipina Workersp. 305
17. Migration and Vietnamese American Women: Remaking Ethnicityp. 318
Part V. Work-Family Issues
18. Management by Stress: The Reorganization of Work Hits Home in the 1990sp. 332
19. Gender Displays and Men's Power: The "New Man" and the Mexican Immigrant Manp. 342
20. Child-Care Dilemmas in Contemporary Familiesp. 359
Part VI. New Forms of Family Diversity
21. Gay and Lesbian Families Are Here; All Our Families Are Queer; Let's Get Used to It!p. 372
22. African American Lesbians: Issues in Couples Therapyp. 406
23. Social Construction of Mary Beth Whiteheadp. 425
24. Comment on Harrison: The Commodification of Motherhoodp. 435
25. Resolving "Other" Status: Identity Development of Biracial Individualsp. 439
26. Use of African-American Family Structures and Functioning to Address the Challenges of European-American Postdivorce Familiesp. 455
Part VII. Recognizing Diversity, Encouraging Solidarity
27. Poverty, Social Rights, and the Quality of Citizenshipp. 470
28. The Case for a Race-Specific Policyp. 478
29. The Family Values Fablep. 487
Selected Bibliography of Recent Sourcesp. 491
Permissions Acknowledgmentsp. 500